May 21, 2011
BRYAN, Texas --- Led the spectacular play of freshman Julia Boland and Ashley Freeman.
“It was just lots of fun,” Ruzickova said of her first NCAA Championships. “I had a blast out there, especially today. I played with Austin Ernst from LSU (ace on Hole #2), and she made a hole-in-one. Yesterday I witnessed a hole-in-one (Virginia’s Brittany Altomare’s ace on 16), so it was just a lot of fun.”
Added McCombs, “She’s pretty special. She is one of those rarities that you hope that you get in your coaching career, to find a kid like that. She’s is one of those kids you never have to tell her what to do, how to do it. She is so independent, and her work ethic is like no other kid I’ve ever seen. She leads by example.”
“She loves this stage. She loves being in the pressure. That is what she lives for. She practices that way, and she knows that she can have the confidence to come down the stretch, because she has put all the hard work in.”
A&M finished 18 strokes behind champion UCLA, which won its third NCAA crown at 21-over. The top 10 teams were UCLA, Purdue (+25), LSU (+29), Virginia (+34), USC (+38) and Arkansas (+38), Texas A&M, North Carolina (+41), Alabama (+41), Vanderbilt (+44) and Florida (+44).
It was the third top 10 NCAA finish in program history for the Aggies, and the second time A&M has done it in McCombs’ four seasons in Aggieland. The Aggies also posted top 10 NCAA finishes in McCombs’ first season (6th in 2008) and in 1982 (5th). A&M also posted a pair of eighth place national finishes at the AIAW Championships in 1981 and 1982.
The Aggies were easily the highest finisher among teams that entered the NCAA Championship with a national ranking outside the top 25. The No. 27 Aggies beat 12 teams that were ranked ahead of them in the Golfstat.com rankings, including four teams that entered the NCAAs with top 10 rankings. At the season-opening NCAA Fall Preview at Traditions, the Aggies placed 16th of 18 teams, in a field that included 11 teams that advanced teams to the 2011 NCAA Championships.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids,” McCombs said. “After finishing 16th out of 18 teams at the NCAA Fall Preview, a lot of people counted them out, and at the beginning of the fall they kind of counted themselves out because it was like, ‘Wow, what just hit us?’ But the fact that they got right back on the horse and just worked hard. I think they proved it to themselves this weekend that they are a team in contention.”
“I think it was more they proved it to themselves. This is a huge stage for most of them to have never played on before. They have played in golf tournaments, but to play for your university on your home track in a national championship, that is huge. So now that we have the experience, we’ve been there, we’ve done it, next year will be a lot of fun.”
The Aggies counted scores from Ruzickova, sophomore Sarah Beth Davis (75, +3), sophomore Susy Grunden (77, +5) and senior Sarah Zwartynski (78, +6) in the final round. In the individual standings, Zwartynski tied for 55th at 15-over, Grunden tied for 63rd at 16-over, Davis tied for 88th at 22-over and freshman Natalie Reeves tied for 95th at 23-over.
The NCAA Championship marked the final collegiate tournament of Zwartynski’s illustrious Texas A&M career. She finished as the school record holder in career counting scores with 127 (old record of 126 by Isabelle Rosberg from 1995-98), and ranked No. 2 in scoring average (74.80), par or better rounds (30), and rounds played (133).
In her first season, Ruzickova set freshman records for scoring average (73.12) and par or better rounds (13), which both rank No. 4 overall among all players at A&M.